Inspired by my last lesson and not only the preparation, but also the ensuing discussion coming from it, I thought I would elucidate on a few of the challenges I have faced, and any Brit may when moving to Germany.
Very EuroBrit Problems
- Converting from imperial to metric.
I do not hear the phrase from family and friends ” What is that in (insert imperial unit here i.e. Fahrenheit) as much as I used to, as I tend to say I do not think like that or I no longer convert. Although I do somehow miss ordering a pint. Although I have picked up the phrase Na, klar! Groß. (Of course, a large one) as an automatic response to the enquiry from the bar staff if I want a large or small (Groß oder Klein?) beer.
- Showing visitors how to use a window handle to kip (tilt) or open one.
I had great fun using this with my Chinese civil engineer students as an exercise in settling in. But also the logistics of the movement can get you in a pickle. Especially as a lot of Brits like to air their rooms, flat or house. I wonder if this is the same for Americans, as they are so used to air-con.
- Defending English food.
Not something I have to do as often, as most of my friends and acquaintances know I can cook and have a quite diverse palette. Despite bad habits in England of eating TV dinners, microwaving food or eating unhealthy I find the heartiness of German food is a big similarity to traditional English food. Strangely in my last lesson, I had a sudden craving for Walkers Crisps in White Bread. I still miss some ethnic dishes from the UK, especially good spicy Indian food and Dim Sum.
- Everyone thinking as a Brit you must be a Monarchist.
Despite my immediate family being staunch royalists, I am a Republican. Often I get shocked expressions from Germans as I exclaim that the Royal Family should be sold off to Disneyland. Beyond the ambassadorial duties and the touristic appeal, I do see them as an anachronistic tradition and drain on the economy.
- The quaint idea of teatime.
This is no different from German coffee and cake time (Kaffee und Kuchenzeit). Just in England, it is a little later in the afternoon and not just Sundays (the main tradition I have experienced in Saxony). Despite the image prevailing it does not involve the best china, scones, jams, doilies and extended little fingers. As a long convert to coffee, I am not really such a big tea drinker and if so only Yorkshire Tea.
Any EuroBrits out there wanna add what they think are VeryEuroBritProblems?